Homeless man who helped Manchester attack victims shares details of aftermath

Last Updated May 23, 2017 11:03 PM EDT

A homeless man has shared his harrowing account of the moment he rushed to help wounded children after the suspected suicide bomb attack Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. 

Stephen Jones, 35, was sleeping near Manchester Arena when he heard a loud bang, which he initially believed to be fireworks. In an interview with ITV News, he detailed the aftermath of the deadly attack that left at least 22 dead and dozens injured.

When Jones and his friend saw everyone screaming and running, they began to run with the crowd. But when they realized what was happening, they ran back and saw women and children leaving the arena with "blood throughout the stairs" and victims lying on the ground.  

He explained that his instincts led him back inside the building.

"There was a lot of homeless people that stayed there and helped and that's what we done. And obviously when we seen children like that with blood... having to pull nails and stuff out of their arms and I pulled one out of this little girl's face," Jones said.

Jones felt like he had no choice but to help the children who were covered in blood, "crying and screaming."

"If I didn't help, I wouldn't be able to live with myself for walking away and leaving kids like that. The ones that helped were great, we don't normally get on with the police, but I'll give them 100 percent they were there on the scene last night and they were there, they knew what they were doing and all the emergency services were there, they were there in quick time," Jones said.

More than anything, Jones said he and others aiding the injured were trying to help calm the mothers down.

"We wiped the blood off some of the children's faces. One little girl was covered in blood, the mother was screaming, some guy was calming her down, we took the girl's t-shirt off, luckily she wasn't hurt, it was somebody else's blood that she had on her," he said.

Jones is now being hailed as a hero. One woman created an online fundraiser to help Jones find housing. The Just Giving page has already exceeded its £15,000 goal. "This started out as a way to get Steve somewhere to stay," the page reads. "Now, I think we can upgrade it to somewhere permanent to live."